Colorful Layers in Nili Fossae

This enhanced-color version of the central part of the HiRISE image shows colorful layers that may contain carbonate minerals.

Carbonates are commonly formed on Earth by marine organisms; the origin of these carbonates on Mars is unknown, but probably involved liquid water.

This image was taken along with the CRISM instrument, also onboard MRO, in what is called “ridealong” mode.

Written by: Ken Herkenhoff   (20 June 2012)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_027691_2025 .

More info and image formats at

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona